Tag Archives: Tinman Triathlon

I Guess This Is What It Feels Like

27 Jun

I’m always grateful when this day comes.

It’s a reminder.

Let your Freak Flag fly, give 100 percent, empty the tank, and wake up on Monday morning feeling blessed and ready to rock.

Even if you’re having a rough one, Shark Week sets you straight.


I actually started my week living like it was Shark Week without even knowing it.

The events of this weekend just sent me straight to Tony-Robbins-state-of-mind. For the fifth year in row I competed in the TinMan Triathlon and despite the 71-year old IronMan chick leaving me in the dust, it was the best one yet.

I ran and swam my fastest times ever, and despite Devil’s Canyon trying to break down the cyclist in me, I kept at it and managed to get to the top of that mountain and let me tell you … my quads were feeling like Tina Turner’s.

I raised the volume up on my playlists and just kept going. Once I crossed the finish line, I heard my inner voice … you did it. And I smiled. After battling the dry heat, the agony and pain of my butt during that long bike ride, and the near drowning incident in the water because some chick kept hitting me mid-stroke and some dude almost kicked me in the face, after all that I had made it.  It felt good, like Rocky-at-the-top-of-those-steps-good.

And I enjoyed it. I enjoyed it while I was running, while I was biking uphill, and when I was on my last lap. Every part of it felt good, because I was trying. Then my kids did their mini-triathlon and their efforts made me so proud, I was having a parent moment right there at the finish line. While I was high-fiving them, I realized I had come in second place for my division and I couldn’t believe it.

I was so busy celebrating my kids’ finish, especially since it was my daughter’s first time, that I didn’t hear them call my name. I had done something I never thought would happen. I wasn’t aiming for that, I was just trying to do better than last year. I was just trying, giving it all I had. Emptying the tank. That’s all. I didn’t think there be an extra reward. But there was …

For the first time in five years I placed second.

I smiled again.

I realized … I guess this is what it feels like … this is what it feels like to live every week like it’s Shark Week, with or without the medal.

I was glad for the reminder.






Just-Do-It Character Even With Saucony Shoes

29 Jun

Even though the miles were the same and the landscape didn’t change, running through it, biking through it, and swimming through it made me different every time.

I don’t do it to lose weight, to work on my non-existent six-pack, or to post pictures with you-should-be-doing-this type of headlines in order shame or guilt moms with kids who are barely trying to survive ’till 7 p.m. I do it because it makes me feel good. It’s become part of my lifestyle, part of the routine that makes me feel like me, like that 2.0 version of yourself that’s always been there, the kind that comes out in a Just Do It commercial, the one that you produced.

Although I wish I didn’t have to recover with Alleve and BenGay the next day. But that’s what happens. You can’t fool your bones. They know you’re 39. They know it and they’re passing the message along to your muscles.

But regardless of how much menthol-smelling cream I need for my aches and pains the awesomeness I feel when I cross the finish line at the TinMan Triathlon keeps me going for at least a week or two. Even though I didn’t finish first, second, third, or even in the top 10, I still felt like a champion.

The hills were tough, but I kept going. Biking Devil’s Canyon was brutal, but I kept climbing. It kicked my ass, most definitely but I kept pedaling. And the swimming … well the swimming was so much better this time. Can’t say anything about the swimming, I felt like Michael Phelps. But no matter how challenging the other parts of the race were I kept going. I got the Just Do It vibe in me, even though I was sporting my Saucony running shoes.

And the thing I realized is that I passed that on to my son.

I was super proud of that fact. Proud of the fact that my son kept going after the lady handing out water during the running leg tripped him. Proud of the fact that after he fell hard, really hard on gravely road, he still got up. He scraped up his knee and the elbow was in need of some Neosporin and Band-Aids, but he didn’t give up. He needed a minute, but then he kept going, on to the biking phase, the swimming leg, and finally sprinting, not jogging or walking, but pumping his little arms and sprinting the last 20 yards to the finish line.

And I was there to watch him do it.

He raised his hands up in victory as they gave him his TinMan medal.

I was proud of his athletic accomplishment, but even prouder of his character, because he had Just Do It Character. Gatorade-commercial worthy character.

Yeah, this year the miles and scenery were the same, just like last year, and the year before that. But when we finished the race, we both had something different. I’m holding onto that for a while. I’m hoping he does too.




Plan B, Miss 166, My Non-Water Resistant Camera, and My Cartwheel-Worthy Moment

2 Jul

Did it turn out the way I planned?

No. It almost never does.

Plan B was in full effect Sunday, along with the 100+ degree heat. But as with any Guatacular adventure, Plan B is always in effect, always making an appearance. It’s just the nature of the beast.

Sometimes Plan B ends up being even better than the original.

Yeah … this wasn’t one of those times.

In truth it wasn’t all bad. It provided me with some stressful situations that turned into comedic moments, which turned into great stories. I think that’s what Plan B is about … providing writing material. And it all starts with your plans … your goals.

Just finish.

Don’t fall and crack your head open, ambulances are expensive.

Don’t get a cramp and drown, it sounds like a painful way of dying.

Don’t let the Cha-Cha girl wearing make-up beat you.

Keep up with the 60-year old IronMan lady during the run.

Don’t use all the IcyHot on your quads the first night, your butt muscles could probably use some from all that bike riding.

Hanging out at the starting line trying to get into my Zen-like pre-triathlon frame of mind.

Hanging out at the starting line trying to get into my Zen-like pre-triathlon frame of mind.

All pretty high-achieving goals. I know. And this year an added bonus: Conquer Devil’s Canyon. As you might recall last year this bitch got the best of me and my back. It kicked my ass. This year however I swore I’d make it to the top without stopping and I had more than my pride and two months of yoga pushing me. This time I had extra motivation. I had to make it to my son’s race before it started.

So it was on.

The running went as expected. All the cover models wearing the right clothes, fancy triathlon watches and other expensive gear hauled ass at the sound of the starter’s pistol. By mile two, me and my Costco t-shirt and shorts made our way passed them.

I was doing well. I thought I got this! I made it to the bike transition, no worries. And then about five minutes into the ride, it happened. Plan B provided me with good writing material.

I mean how could I not write about how I almost fell off the bike and ate it because my dude actually did something nice for me. How does something nice go bad? When it’s too nice. He washed the bike the day before, but washed it so well that all the oil practically came off the chain, which then caused the chain to get jammed as I tried to shift gears. It was in a serious state of adhesion. I mean if I went up or down Devil’s Canyon like that, it would have been IT for me. Call the ambulance.

Yeah...this is where it happened. But no pictures of Angie as we were both in a hurry to get on with the race.

Yeah…this is where it happened. You notice how there is no one around … that’s because they all passed me. But no time for pictures with Angie as we were both in a hurry to get on with the race.

Luckily it happened early on. And I guess if it wasn’t for Plan B I wouldn’t have been reminded of random acts of kindness.

I didn’t even know her, but there she was … my savior wearing aqua blue nylon running shorts, a white breathable cotton tank top, shades,  and sporting the 166 ink on her triceps.

Angie. Oh Angie. My savior. Miss 166.

Since everyone was zooming passed me without giving me a second glance I thought I would jog with my bike to the water station and hopefully one of the sheriffs or volunteers would help fix the chain. You know, help me get back on track, because my grease stained hands were making no progress. But on my way there, I ran across Angie, who opened up her MacGyver tool belt to help me. I’m not mechanically inclined, so I had no idea how to unstick a jammed bicycle chain. But apparently  the “right way” was easier than the 15-minute method I tried.

But nevertheless Angie and I persevered. I gave her a Woo-Hoo high-five and promised to buy her a cold one once the race was done.

Triathlon 008

Devil’s Canyon … The Beginning

This 15-minute pit stop allowed for a lot of people to pass me, including some Cha-Cha girls in pink. It felt like last place had my name on it. However, this little setback inspired  a comeback. But I was a little worried because I hadn’t even encountered my nemesis yet: Devil’s Canyon.

However, setbacks have a way of pushing you so that you make it to the top, even without your Gatorade, which happened to spill everywhere during your pit stop. This setback pushed me to race up Devil’s Canyon in all gears — no stopping this time. And as I passed all the bikers walking up the crazy hill all I could think was … Yoga, you rock! My back made it.

As I reached the top I was so happy to see Harold The Rotary Club volunteer handing out water. I think everyone was happy when they saw Harold and not just because of the water. Harold meant the end of Devil’s Canyon.

After this sweet victory I could tell I was on empty and in desperate need of a banana or orange. So I zoomed down because I knew something would be waiting for me when I hit the transition area. As I approached I noticed the wall clock … I had ten minutes before my son’s race. And so when I dove into the pool it hadn’t even occurred to me to remove my trusty non-waterproof, non-water resistant Canon Powershot.

No it hadn’t occurred to me. All I was thinking about was my son’s starting line.

So after 25 meters in the pool it was done for, in truth after one meter it was done for, resting in peace. All I could do was take it out of my pocket, put it on the pool deck, and just keep swimming. The lifeguard assured me that it happened often, however I didn’t see any other water-soaked cameras dripping dry.

But regardless of my camera’s demise the swimming happened to be the best part that day. I wasn’t Michael Phelps, but I made it through without having to stop. The backstroke rocks. I know normal people enjoy freestyle, but as you all know backwards is the way to go for me.

However the best part … the best part of the whole day was not conquering Devil’s Canyon or crossing the finish line. I know I had made it and it felt good. But no that wasn’t it. The highlight of the day was watching my son cross the starting line. It was cheering him on as I ran alongside him. It was helping him during the bike transition and having him tell me “I got this mom,” as he pedaled away. It was helping him be the best Aquaman he could be in the pool. It was seeing his smile as he sprinted across the finish line. It was the hug and the high-five that I gave him as he got his medal.

Yeah … these were definitely cart-wheel worthy kind of moments that lasted all day.


The Tiny Tots take off ... my son included.

The Tiny Tots take off and I was so glad my son was able to avoid the 7-child pile up that happened right at the starting line. After a fall like that a few of the kids decided not to continue.


In deep waters he decides to have a pit stop. The wall a perfect place.

In deep waters he decides to have a pit stop. The wall a perfect place.


Running towards the finish line.

Running towards the finish line.


The Little Champion

The Little Champion … crossed off another item from his Sandbox List Adventures.


Finish Line Baby, Finish Line

25 Jun

I’m hoping the yoga worked, because The Countdown is on!

I’m already writing my thank you note to the creators of IcyHot.

I’ve got five days. In five days I tackle my yearly challenge: The TinMan Triathlon, not to be confused with the IronMan, but pretty badass nonetheless. I still get black ink finely printed on my awesome calf muscle and tricep. Once I see it, I’m transformed. No longer the mother of two: diaper changer extraordinaire, referee of superhero cape battles, Lego mastermind builder, and Nickelodeon remote control screener. I’m no longer the struggling writer who gets the it’s-not-you-it’s-me rejection letter. No longer a wife or daughter just trying to stay above water. It’s just me … the Guat … TinMan candidate.

Image via Durtbagz.com

Image via Durtbagz.com

I’m looking forward to that feeling. I’m looking forward to the starting line and enjoying my New Balance hit the pavement, my feet staying on the pedals, and my toes splashing in the water. And even though I’ll be sweating, and huffing and puffing, I’ll probably be enjoying every minute of it. Maybe not the Mission Impossible uphill battle of Devil’s Canyon. But once I reach the top, and hopefully not fall and break a valuable appendage while speeding my way down, it’ll be all good.

But this won’t be the best part.

As I mentioned before, the best part will be watching my son run his first triathlon: The Tiny Tots Tricycle Triathlon. I look forward to watching him smile as he crosses the finish line. I look forward to the thumbs up he’s going to give me. I look forward to taking our picture together with our matching medals. It’s cheesy, but it’s been on my Bucket List-Life-to-do list and his Sandbox Adventure List. He wants to be like Wreck It Ralph and get a medal and he’s been training well.

The biking and swimming sessions seem to be going well for him. The running? Well let’s just say he takes after me … he doesn’t thoroughly enjoy it unless he’s chasing a baseball, football or soccer ball. He sort of just trots his way around the track, but if he sees someone else running in front of him he feels the urge to speed up and pass them. So I’m sure when it comes to the race, he’ll be all right.

Me? My training?

It’s going slower than usual and time hasn’t really been on my side. So I had to do some things that I normally would never do.


But I’ve done what I had to do — whatever it takes to make sure I finish the race before my son starts his. So I’ve sacrificed. Sacrificed something valuable.


I wake up at the crack of dawn to work out. I hate dawn. I’m more of a dusk kind of person. Dawn is for sleeping, especially when you’re a night person and go to bed at midnight or 1 a.m. I tried the go-to-bed-earlier routine, but my internal clock doesn’t let that happen. I’m used to decompressing and enjoying the awesome quiet of the night. Meditating. And I’ve realized that I really need my Namaste moments, otherwise I’d probably throw someone off a cliff.

So I sacrifice sleep. I flop out of bed to ride a bike, run, and yes even swim. And I’ve got to say out of all the early-bird routines, the swimming seems to be the most relaxing. Surprisingly I flop out of bed with less hostility when I know I’m hitting the pool. Still cranky though, but not as bad.

However, all of it for a good cause. Finish line. Need to make the finish line so that I can see my son cross his starting line. That’s what I keep telling myself when the alarm rings at 5:30 a.m. That’s what I tell myself again after I hit the snooze button. Finish line baby, finish line.



The Rematch Update 2: Getting To The Starting Line And I Think Yoga Is Going to Help Me

28 May

I don’t know why it seemed easier last year, but for some reason my body seems to agree with me. It was easier. I don’t know if it has anything to do with the fact that I’m one year closer to the big 4-0. It may be, a lot can happen to your muscles and bones in a year. But I don’t think it has anything to do with the fact that I’m checking a new age-range box on applications. I think it has to do with the fact that my one year old is going on two.

Have you heard of twos? They’re terrible.

You would think the sleep deprivation would have stopped after a year. But no … no. This kid is just psyching me out, waiting until I got a little comfortable and then BAM! the middle of the night drama happened again. Just randomly. Sometimes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Sometimes just Saturday nights. Just to mess with my head.

Image via Durtbagz.com

Image via Durtbagz.com

It’s this power struggle that probably effected my ability to function properly during the day. It’s this power struggle that probably has me looking for anti-aging cream at the CVS. It’s this power struggle that probably has me using the adjective “weary” to describe myself now. It’s this power struggle that has probably effected my training. My brains and bones are just not the same. No matter how many vitamins I’ve been acquiring, it seems to take me a lot longer to jump-start my battery. This is when I start to wonder about osteoporosis, arthritis, and sciatica. Is it possible to have all three before you hit 40?


But I do have to say … the yoga has been helping my back. Thanks to 13-letter word yoga poses ending in  “sana” I seem to be chugging along. The whole yoga stretching appears to be helping the training process. After doing them, I seem to have enough umph left to help train my son for his Tiny Tots Tricycle Triathlon. He’s doing really well in the biking part, and I’m happy that he’ll be taking swimming classes this month to help prepare him for his big dive in the pool. In fact I think he’ll probably do better than me in the water. In truth I’m more excited about his race than I am mine. It’ll be our first race together and I’m feeling all “parenty” about it. I’ll probably be high-fiving him all day. And it’s the anticipation of these high-fives and his smiles that really keep me going.

Making sure that I’m there at the starting line to see him take off is inspiration enough to kick my own ass. My race starts at 7 a.m. his at 9 a.m. I’m gonna be there, camera in hand. So watch out Devil’s Canyon, I’m getting ready for you.

One of my goals this year is to conquer Devil’s Canyon without stopping or passing out. Now I don’t have a fast and light racing bike, which would probably help my time, but my Bianchi hybrid will have to do. Maybe I can add rocket boosters or something, you know for that final climb. But maybe I can do a few extra squats so that my quads won’t be burning up when I’m climbing all those hills. And maybe I’ll increase my bike rides through the park, so that I can go passed the stop sign and reach the heliport. And maybe I’ll increase my downward-facing-dog, cat-cow yoga involvement so that my back isn’t killing me while I’m going up the mountain. I’ve decided … I’m gonna make it to my son’s starting line on time, even if I fall off the bike and have to crawl there, which I hope doesn’t happen. But either way, I’m getting to the starting line and I think yoga is gonna help me power through … well I know it’ll help my back. And that body part seems to be very important. It connected to all the vital parts I need for the race.

The Rematch … It’s On Devil’s Canyon … It’s So On. I’ve Got Backup This Time

2 May

It’s that time of year again … the time when I challenge my weary bones and muscles … the time of year when I pretend I can swim freestyle knowing full well that it never works and I just end up swimming the backstroke and floating my way to the finish line. It’s that time of year where I step out of the “mom” box and step into the badass frame of mind which lasts up to 24 hours, then I go back to being defeated. It’s … Tinman Triathlon time and Devil’s Canyon awaits.

Pinche Devil’s Canyon. It’s on … It is so on.

Image via Durtbagz.com

Image via Durtbagz.com


I’m counting down. I’ve got about two months to whip this Guat body into Tinman shape. Don’t get me wrong the Fight For Air Climb certainly put my quads where they belong, it’s just the rest of my body that needs to cooperate. Specifically, the old parts. The parts that take Glucosamine and something called CoQ10. But I’ve decided to add some yoga and stretching to the mix, because my lower back seems to be aging faster than any other part of my body. Although my knees are a close second, and I’m afraid I’m going to need both to conquer Devil’s Canyon. So if you have any pointers feel free to share them.

However this time, the Tinman experience will be different. The training will be different. I’ll have someone there. My son. My four-year old son has agreed to enter the Tiny Tots Tricycle Triathlon. A super miniature version of the race and I’m excited to see him cross the finish line.

This of course means that I’ll be doing double duty when training. I can’t really go at full speed when training with him, so I’ll have to do my training whenever I can get it. This usually means at the break of dawn, which sucks for a night person like myself, or it can happen in the dark of night where suspect people usually walk the streets and I have to keep my Hapkido skills on high alert. Win-win I guess, but at least I have one day during the weekends where I can get my muscles up to Tinman status.

My son is pretty much at Mini-Tinman status when it comes to biking and running. He’s pretty high energy all we have to do is extend the road he covers. However we do have to practice our swimming a bit more, so the Lightening McQueen floaties and goggles will be making an appearance.

We’re both excited about the event and all I’m hoping for is that he finishes the race. He doesn’t need to be first. He just needs to finish. As for me? I don’t need to be first either. I just need to conquer Devil’s Canyon. It kicked my ass last year and I’m hoping the incident doesn’t repeat itself. In truth all I want to do is finish my race before the Tiny Tinman race starts. I want to be at the starting line cheering him on and be part of his pit crew when he gets on his bike. So I definitely need to get into kick-Devil’s -Canyon’s-Ass Shape.  It’s a rematch. Definitely a “Thrilla in Manila” type of event.

Stay tuned.


Related Articles


Despite Devil’s Canyon, It Was The Best Hour-and-a-Half I’ve Had This Year. I Am A TinMan.

25 Jun

I couldn’t believe it happened to me again.

When someone says something like that, it’s usually a negative thing. A speeding ticket. Getting stood up. Getting crapped on by a pigeon. Stuff like that.

But not that day.

On Sunday, it happened to me twice. The it? The awesome unshakable feeling of enthusiasm to the tenth power. I was oozing with this great you-did-it feeling. I guess most people call it pride. And it lasted the whole day.

I earned my TinMan Triathlon medal, and I’d like to thank every single muscle in my 36-year-old body for contributing to this accomplishment, because it wasn’t easy.

The day began at 4:30 a.m. and even though I’m not the greatest morning person I made my way through a morning routine and jumped in the truck. As I drove to the race, I was still a little nervous, but as I was changing the radio stations I heard one of my songs …  Give me ho! if you got your funky bus pass, ho! ho! ho! The Double Dutch Bus coming down the street … Then it was followed by Maroon 5 singing Payphone and then the jams kept coming all hour-long.

It was an omen.

I was going to do well. And I was going to finish the race. I was on the positive track and that was the right place to before the race.

I got to registration, set up my bike and little transition stand, then made my way to the starting line. There were no crazy costumes in this race, but everyone seemed to be looking the IronMan part. You know, wearing those biking/swim suits so you need no transition from bicycle to pool. You just get off the bike and go.

The starting line.

And once again, there I was with shorts and a t-shirt. But I still felt good. The fact that I had the number 160 written on my left arm and calf made me feel like I didn’t need IronMan clothing to participate in the race. T-shirt and shorts were just fine for The Guat. No need for a hundred-dollar wetsuit or fancy Tour De France looking bike apparel. I was sporting 160 ink on my body and that was good enough for me.

I heard the countdown, followed by the ding, and I was off.

I hadn’t worried too much about the running part of the race. I felt that my post-Warrior-Dash training  would help me out in this. And it did. I passed many of the triathletes that sprinted the first hundred yards. I started slow, but made my way through the pack and found a good pace. Passing up all the IronMan looking people. I thought I was doing well.  Until I saw him.

Can you see Happy Feet Running Club Kid in the yellow?

There he was running away, not even breathing heavily. In fact he was actually having a conversation with the person next to him, which he eventually passed. There he was … A ten-year old kid with his Happy Feet Running Club shirt passing me by at mile two.

I couldn’t believe it. There he was, Happy Feet Running Club Kid,  running smoothly. Practically no sweat. But he wasn’t running in the triathlon. They had a 5K race for kids, and he was one of the many participating.

So once the running phase was done Happy Feet went one way and I went the other. Even though Happy Feet  finished a little bit ahead of me I was glad I had made it to the end without stopping. A lot of people began walking at mile two as the early sun began beating down on us. You would think early sunshine would not be hot, but it was, I had the sweat to prove it.

The Biking Station

Once I got to the biking part I felt relieved. I thought I would be cruising during this part of the race.

But I was wrong.

They call it Devil’s Canyon for a reason and my quads were in hell.

This was the toughest part of the race.

It started off pretty good. Zooming past the straightaways, but then when the incline began I had to change to lower gears. I passed by the residential areas and kept making my way uphill. Then I came across a security guard who was pedaling without a helmet. He was going up the hill faster than I was and he did not have a 21-speed bike. Apparently he was on his way to work at the nearby university. It was his daily route. I told him he should have entered the race, he would have done well. He laughed and pedaled passed me.

Once I got through the residential areas, I saw it. The hills. The never-ending incline up to the mountain. It was so steep that some Tour De France looking people with professional bike shoes got off their bicycles and began hiking up that monstrosity. But I pressed on and kept changing gears.

The beginning of Devil’s Canyon

Then, just when I thought I had reached the top, I hadn’t. It just kept climbing and climbing. Pinche Devil’s Canyon. My quads were burning, and for some reason my lower back felt like someone was stabbing it.

All that strain going up hill must have put a kink back there, and all I could think about was … man I should have brought a radio. I might have been able to groove my way up the mountain.  I even tried singing, trying to remember all the lyrics to the jams I heard in the morning. But it was useless, I messed up the lyrics and got tired of singing the same song four times in a row.

So I got off to drink some water.

My ongoing quest to conquer Devil’s Canyon

But then I couldn’t get back on to pedal, so I became one of the hikers. The sad part was that I only walked for about five minutes, before reaching the top. If I had held out a little longer, I would have made it through without stopping. But I had no idea what was lying behind that curve. I thought it was more mountain. Instead it was two older ladies from the local Rotary Club passing out water and encouragement. Even though I reached the top on foot, that didn’t matter. I just got on the bike and made my way down hill. A fast trip down hill.

I was hesitant once I got to the swimming part, seeing how I only got in the pool once during my training. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. There were lifeguards galore. So I plunged in. Six laps. I started off with freestyle, then turned to the doggie paddle. After four laps I was exhausted, so I just decided to do the backstroke all the way to the finish. No crazy cramp. No need for CPR from the lifeguards. I floated on my back and splashed to the end.

The Finish

Even though they had a be-careful-it’s-slippery sign  right out of the pool, I began jogging to the finish line, barefoot. It was about 100 yards. Once I saw the finish line I smiled. I had never been so happy to see something pink, and for those of you who know me, know that I hate pink, every shade of it.  But today… today was the day I was happy to see pink. I crossed the finish and smiled.


One hour and thirty-eight minutes. It was the best hour-and-a-half I’ve had this year. I was a TinMan.

Giddy up!

Gaining Some Perspective: I’m Still Bad-Ass

23 Jun

You try to gear yourself up for the big day, and you’re feeling like you’re almost there. You got the tights and the cape and you’re feeling like SuperWoman. But then someone rips your cape and the letter “S” just  looks like squiggly art from a preschooler.

I was trying to get motivated for my big race tomorrow. I was trying to feel less anxious. I was listening to some jamming tunes to pump me up. I was feeling athletic like. I was feeling Bionic Woman like. But then there came Debbie Downer, finding some way to say something negative.

They mention the fact that the race starts at 7 a.m. SEVEN, which meant I needed to be there around 6:30 a.m. That meant I had to leave the house around 5:00 a.m., which meant I had to wake up around 4:30 a.m.

“You’re not really a morning person, you know.

Maybe you should’ve got a hotel room, close to the race.

You didn’t even tune-up your bike. You could get a flat tire along the way.”

“Yeah … I could get hit by lightning while swimming and then drown.”

I should really pay attention to the Caller ID. Just because the phone rings, doesn’t mean I should answer it. Especially the day before the race. I wish they had some sort of caller ID for person to person conversations too. I don’t know how that would work, but it would be awesome. MIT or Caltech people you should really get on that.

In any case I began feeling more anxious about my abilities. More deflated. I could feel the confidence slipping. I hadn’t trained as much as I would have liked, I could have done better. I wasn’t feeling as confident as My Warrior Dash.

But then I came across this message and it helped me gain some perspective.

Image via quotablecards.com


I am bad-ass and extraordinary in my own way.

Giddy up! 4:30 a.m. wake-up call here I come.





My Tinman Update #5

20 Jun

The countdown is on and I’ve got three days to go.

Three days until the big race. Three days to do some final workout cramming sessions. And during this final week of workout madness I finally hit the water. And I know what you’re thinking … crazy Guat. It’s a triathlon. Swimming is an essential part. It’s like catching in baseball. But as I mentioned before, I’m a starving writer and don’t have the status of pool success.

Image via Durtbagz.com

You know … pool success. That’s when you have the money to buy a house with a pool, or you have one installed. I don’t have pool money yet. I don’t even have sprinkler money. So I had to turn to public pools, however that’s not my thing. I’m not a fan of other people’s urine diluted in gallons of water. I’m a little Howard Hughes that way. So my swim training has been a little slow.

But I finally got the opportunity to jump in a semi-private pool, and I went to town. I finally got in the water and I can honestly tell you that the swimming is probably going to kick my ass.

No doubt. No doubt.

But the good thing is that at least I can expect it, right? I know it’s coming. So might as well just take it head on. Psyche myself up and bust a move. Like going to the doctor and knowing you’re gonna get a shot. You know you have to do it. You know it’s gonna hurt. So what do you do? Cowboy up.Man up! Or in my case Woman Up!

Just gonna dunk myself in the water and try my best.  Gonna bust out all the swimming moves I got to get me through this part of the race.  Freestyle, backstroke, doggie paddle, and the one that makes you look like a frog. I might just even float my way to the finish. But that’s what happens. What are you gonna do?

The funny thing is that even though swimming worked out every single part of my body, I felt somewhat relaxed and at ease in the water. Pushing myself off the wall and zooming through the water at my own Guat speed felt great. I didn’t feel like I was exercising at all. My knees weren’t hurting and my back was free of pain.I was out of breath and I could feel it in my shoulders and legs, but I felt good.

I wish I had pool money. My broken-down thirty-something athletic bones and ligaments would thank me. I’m sure my post Tinman Triathlon body would appreciate it too.

But nevertheless game on. It’s on. Run. Bike. Swim. Here I come. Swimming here I come.

My Tinman Update #4

10 Jun

They were on fire. Burning. My quads. My sad little Guat quadriceps  were aching and yelling Spanish profanities at me.

But there I was huffing and puffing trying to pedal up the incline, while a sixty-something year old man in blue biker shorts and a red shirt raced passed me.

Image via Durtbagz.com

I need more practice.

Not only did the bad-ass senior citizen whoosh past me in his racing bike, I didn’t make it all the way up. Two reasons.

One: It took me longer than anticipated to bike all the way down to this park and I had to get back home. If I continued my quest up the incline, considering my speed, it might have gone well into the late hours of the evening. I might have come back home extremely late, and in the dark. I have coordination skills, but the night-time makes it harder for drivers to see me, which may cause untimely falls into a ditch while trying to avoid crazy drivers. So the darkness was the first contributing factor. 

Two: the steepness of this mountain. I was completely unprepared for this endeavor. So were my muscles. I was pedaling so slowly that people riding on horses were passing me. I stopped at the 25 MPH sign to assess the situation. Well … in truth I stopped to give my quads a break. Quads … they are a four-part muscle and let me tell you all the parts were burning and aching.

I definitely needed more practice. Not on straightaways, that I managed to be Lance Armstrong-like. I’m talking uphill. Uphill battles.

But then the question comes to mind. What the hell is a matter with you? Why would you try to bike up a crazy incline like that?

I know you’re in training, but get a grip. It’s not the Ironman, it’s the Tinman. Who does that to themselves?

Me. I do. The crazy Guat.

I’m playing catch-up with my training and feel the need to go a little extra on the running and biking parts of the race, because as you know I have yet to hit the water during my training sessions, and know that the swimming will probably sink me. I’ll try my best to float toward the finish line. So I’m hoping the biking, running, and conditioning will help build up enough endurance to help me splash around.

Training? Yes. But what’s up with the steep incline?

Well, it occurred to me that something called Devil’s Canyon probably possesses some kind of evil, malicious uphill battle that will test every part of my legs. I mean otherwise they wouldn’t mention it on the course map. I don’t know exactly what it entails, but I imagine it won’t be easy, otherwise they’d call it something else.

In any case I’m in preparations to get through Devil’s Canyon, without stopping. So, I decided to go up the mountain in hopes that it would assist me, but I only made it to the 25 MPH sign. Maybe next time I’ll make it to the no-parking sign. We’ll see. I’ve got three more weeks to make it to the top. One sign at a time, I guess. One sign at a time.

Giddy up!